There was a development this week that pushes forward the idea of using cell phones to watch TV.
(excerpts from a November 3, 2005 Wall Street Journal article)
"Subscribers won't have to pick from a menu of prerecorded shows but can watch live TV shows as they are aired, as well as programs they've recorded on their digital video recorders at home. And if they miss their favorite show, they'll be able to program their digital video recorder by clicking a few buttons on their cellphone."
"The new service, which will become available in the first six months of next year , will also enable subscribers to interact with their home computers and TVs on their cellphones."
This service links Comcast, Time Warner, Cox and Advance/Newhouse to Sprint's wireless service. Subscribers will need cellphones that can operate at broadband-like speeds. Sprint recently began making some models available for between $230 and $250, including a rebate.
"Together they serve about 41 million households. Other cable companies may join the group later. Sprint and the cable operators promised to commit $200 million initially to the venture, which has a 20-year term. No other cellphone providers will be able to offer the service with these cable companies for three years."
There is a contridiction in the WSJ article that goes unanswered. It is this: the cable companies offer a richer 'live' TV option but Comcast apparently believes that viewers are interested in 'snippets' of content, not the whole program.
This contradiction implies that Comcast mostly wants to bundle cell-phone service into a cable quadruple play to compete against the telco's as IPTV rolls out. It might not matter to them if subscribers actually end up using cell phones for television.
Other cellphone companies currently offer some live TV. … But the program lineup offered by the cable venture is expected to be much richer, with the cable companies aiming to offer live programming from dozens of channels.
"… Starting next year, consumers will be able to get Sprint cellphone service from their cable companies, along with TV, land-line phone service and high-speed Internet connections."
"Cable-company executives believe TV on a small screen will develop into a medium that's different from traditional television. Cellphone TVs will never replace the feel of watching a football game or a movie on a big-screen TV and probably won't be used for extended viewing. But experts predict they will become increasingly popular for watching news clips, music videos and parts of programs specially designed for the small-screen format."
"We call them snippets," said Brian Roberts, Comcast's chief executive. He suggested a snippet might be just david letterman's "Top 10" list from the previous night or the last inning of a baseball game. "What we're doing today is enabling that next generation of content," he said.
Posted by martino on November 6th, 2005 :: Filed under IPTV
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